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Case 1:   Arghakhanchi as an ODF district (to be updated by Siraha)

Sanitation and hygiene sector has recognized lately as a separate sector by government agencies in comparison with other development sectors. It has been taking place as an integral part of drinking water supply projects. Sanitation promotion is understood mainly in terms of toilet construction with less emphasis on behavioural change. The new approach of Total Sanitation has emerged from around 2005 in Nepal. ECARDS-Nepal is involving for the promotion of WASH sector since its establishments.

From 2011 ECARDS-Nepal has been involving in Open Defecation Free (ODF) Campaign in support from Global Sanitation Fund (GSF)/UNHABITAT in different districts, Arghakhanchi was one of them. From June 2012 ECARDS-Nepal was involved for the implementation of “Capacity Building on Total Sanitation and Behabioural Change to Schools, communities and Local Level Stakeholders and sector coordination and planning in Arghakhanchi District”.  

The objective of the programme was to capacitate school teachers, representatives from School Management Committees (SMCs) and Parents and Teachers’ Associations (PTAs), district level line agencies, NGO/CBOs, local level line agencies, front line workers and stakeholders who have working linkage with policy makers in district, and also between implementers and actual beneficiaries in the communities for the promotion of sanitation and hygiene making the total district as ODF.  

Before programme, there was 42% sanitation coverage in the district among 46,828 households (HHs). Similarly, toilet facility was not available in all institution (school, VDC) building. The programme covered all 42 VDCs and 403 schools of the district. ECARDS-Nepal managed this programme in collaboration with local Partner in close coordination and guidance from district WASH coordination committee. In order to achieve the objectives capacity building and mobilisation of school and civil society group was the main approach of the programme. Further the following approaches were adopted:

  • Sanitation and hygiene master plan as a guiding document
  • Build government ownership on the programme
  • Institution building and capacity enhancement of WASH committees
  • Use of qualified and experience resource person
  • Focused on gender and social inclusion (GESI)
  • Regular supervision and monitoring, linkages and coordination, knowledge sharing and management.
  • Development and implementation of  the strategic plan and plan of actions

Major Achievements

  1. Capacity Development of Stakeholders on WASH: Capacity on WASH of more than 9000 child club members, 1072 civil society members, 1860 SMC/PTA chairperson, VDC secretary and head master, more than 900 teachers, 60 sanitation champions and 577 FCHV from different type of training. Almost all line agencies staff has been capacitated on the WASH sector.
  1. Establishment of Institutional Mechanism for Promotion of WASH Sector: WASH activities in schools and formation and mobilisation of more than 300 child-clubs in public schools;
  1. Declaration of Arghakhanchi District as ODF District: Arghakhanchi district has been declared it as ODF district. Before the programme implementation the sanitation coverage was around 40 percent which reached 100 percent at the end of the programme period. The capacity building component contributes significantly to achieve the district ODF status. School teachers and child club members took lead for the campaign at their school and respective community.
  1. Other noted benefits were
  • Increased quality of education in schools and developed sanitation infrastructure in schools and public places
  • Improved health condition of the community people and school children through behavioral change
  • Developed local level resource persons (LRPs)  on WASH
  • Developed IEC materials on WASH and knowledge management and publication

Key Learning

  • Leadership of concerned line agencies (for example District Education Office- DEO) was found effective to implement the programme and achieve the results. The district ODF status was not possible without ownership of programme by DEO and its wing.
  • Participation of local communities has increased due to increase Local ownership. For example there is more participation in the programme activities then anticipated
  • Children were found more effective change-makers to motivate the communities of school catchment area.